School Sport: St Bonaventure's net basketball final spot
PUBLISHED: 07:39 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 07:40 20 March 2017
Year nine squad too strong for rivals
St Bonaventure’s year nine squad booked their place in the Basketball England Premier Schools final later this month with a convincing win at Northampton School for Boys.
The Newham pupils travelled up to the Midlands full of confidence after beating the same opponents in last year’s under-13 final and having scored a century of points in their quarter-final win.
But both sides missed chances in a slow start, before the hosts opened the scoring, and Nathaniel Boatey opened the St Bons account, quickly followed by successive three-point shots from Neave Gregoire-Clarke and a Tomas Augustauskas steal and break for a 10-4 lead.
Northampton’s coaches called a timeout and strong attacking play by St Bons forced the home side into foul toruble, as Boatey, Augustauskas and Christian Adun kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Roman Pituola, Cameron Thompson and Neo Clunis came off the bench to great effect, scoring back-to-back baskets to help end the first quarter with a 28-14 lead.
The visitors focused on their defensive play in the second quarter and saw Torron Phillip and Rylee Ocampo lead the charge, as Matthew Abdul showed great scoring intent.
The aggressive defence kept Northampton scoreless for eight minutes, as St Bons piled up 32 points for a commanding 60-18 lead at half time.
And it was a similar story in the second half, after Northampton enjoyed a good scoring spell early on, as St Bons upped the tempo to show their dominance and extend the scoreline to 76-27.
Edas Rukas shone at both ends of the court in the final quarter, with Ocampo closing the scoring as St Bons sealed a resounding 90-34 victory to earn a trip to Leicester on March 30.
Coach Stephen Onireti said: “It was a slow start from us, but the quality within this team shone through and the boys will go into the final full of confidence.”
Head of year nine Aaron Senior added: “It was a great game from us and the hard work and time that coach Stephen has put into these boys is reaping rewards.”